CAPTA Connects Tutor Presentation Recap: “Writing Across the Curriculum: How to Build Lasting Connections with Teachers and Departments”

Over the next several weeks, we will be featuring Tutor Presentation Recaps from our 2015 Conference, CAPTA Connects. This recap is by George Schulz, a Junior and second-year tutor from the Edison Writing Center.

Over 90% of the Edison Writing Center’s visits are associated with an English class. However, what many students do not know is that the Writing Center is built for students in all types of writing. The EWC addresses this misconception by connecting with departments and teachers with a project called WAC Outreach Committees. For those of you that are not familiar with WAC, the acronym stands for Writing Across the Curriculum. Our Writing Center features sub-committees run by tutors with seniority to reach out to these neglected departments.

I attended the CAPTA conference this fall to present about our WAC Outreach programs and to help build a model for Writing Centers to use for an effective system. Personally, I always feel a huge amount of stress before I present in front of people, especially when I have never even met this people. My presentation started off with a massive flop though when the computer I was planning on using didn’t work! Instead of panicking, I adapted to the unusual circumstances and gave it my best shot.

One thing that is characteristic of these projects in our Writing Center is that fact that they eventually fade away. In attempt to analyze what caused these issues, I conducted case-studies for our center to help find the flaw. The model that I created for Writing Centers looked like this:


Year One

  • Second year tutor begins the program

  • Several first year tutors are made apprentices

Year Two

  • Apprentices take initiative

  • Third year tutor supervises

  • New first year tutors are made apprentices

Year Three

  • Apprentices take initiative

  • The original apprentices supervise

  • New first year tutors are made apprentices


  • Committees are large so that if a student leaves, the program does not die

  • Tutors are involved in several committees and share a small role

  • Committees hold workshops with the entire Writing Center to help build skills in tutoring in discipline

  • Committees develop materials, workshops and connections with departments

  • After all workshops, director-mandated reflection on the workshop is completed

Hopefully other Writing Centers can draw from our own pitfalls and create their own successful WAC programs. We also invite teachers and students who feel like the Writing Center has a place in their department to reach out to us so we that we can help your classes!


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